Comparison of the forests of puerto rico= yunque bosque seco
Comparison of the Dry Forest ofGuanica and the National Forest of the Caribbean “El Yunque”Group #1: Carla J. Figueroa Zuleika Velázquez Crystal K. Colón Luis F. Centeno Gustavo Martínez John E. Muñoz
Introduction On the days of June 19 and 21, we had two separate field trips to two completely different areas of Puerto Rico. We traveled to the Dry Forest of Guanica on June 19, then to the National Forest of the Caribbean “El Yunque” on June 21. After having travelled to both forests, we were able to compare these completely different, yet similar areas.
Dry Forest of Guanica Located in the southwestern area of Puerto Rico, this forest expands all the way from Guánica to Ponce, covering roughly over 11,000 acres of land. The climate is hot and dry, due to a lack of precipitation because of the restrictions placed by the Cordillera Central de P.R., which does not allow the passage of rain-carrying winds. The forest receives approximately 30-40 in. of rain per year. Because of the harsh climate and extreme temperature, the organisms have adapted to thrive and survive in this forest.
The National Forest of the Caribbean “El Yunque” Located 49 Kms north-east from San Juan in the Sierra of Luquillo, with an average temperature of 78 Fahrenheit at the lowest altitudes and around 65 degrees Fahrenheit in areas surpassing the 3,530 feet. With an average precipitation of 250 inches per year. This means that there are very sudden yet powerful downpours daily causing the soil of the forest to suffer significant loses due to the erosion. Due to the great quantity of precipitation the island of Puerto Rico depends on the forest to acquire enough water to supply to the inhabitants.
Flora The flora of the Dry Forest of Guánica is no bigger than 49 ft. because in that form they conserve water and do not spend it in the production of biomass; where as in El Yunque rainforest the vegetation can reach an altitude of as high as 125 ft. because they have more access to water and can produce more biomass. In the Dry Forest of Guánica, the flora modified their activities for the principal goal of all, to conserve water. Some of the adaptations are: vertical orientation to reduce exposure to the direct sunlight, stems that carry out photosynthesis and plants with spines. One of the adaptations that the vegetation in El Yunque made is the adventitious roots to have more support and reducing the occurrence of landslides.
Flora El Yunque possesses more vegetation diversity by area unit than the Guánica Dry Forest. The number of endemic species of trees are 23 and 19 in each forest respectively. The rainforest floor is loosely packed because of the high precipitation. Meanwhile, the dry forest has tightly packed soil due to its low precipitation. Most of the vegetation in both forests have adaptations to subsist in their environment like semi-deciduous in the Dry Forest of Guánica which lose their leaves during the summer and in El Yunque they conserve them all year and they lose their water.
Flora The roots of the rainforest flora are superficial roots; whereas the roots of the dry forest are deeply planted in some areas but superficial in others.
Principal Canopy of El YunquePrincipal Canopy of the Guanica Dry Forest
Adventitious roots Corcho Tree- This tree represent how the vegetationplaced their leaves in vertically form
Yagrumo Macho Didymopanax morototoní El Yunque- Endemic of Puerto Rico Piteselobiun - Endemic tree of Guanica Dry Forest
Fauna Dry Forest of Guanica The Caribbean National Forest There have been a very Approximately 100 vertebrates valuable herpetofauna which including amphibians and birds includes 21 species of reptiles, 6 live in the different forests of “El species of amphibians and 136 Yunque”. species of birds.• Compared with the Rainforest the Dry Forest has 31 versus 20 species of birds per 1,000 individuals.• The amphibans’ function in the Rainforest is mirrored by insectivorous birds in the Dry Forest.• The Dry Forest contains a wider range of insect species than the Rainforest.
Fauna Both forests have in common species like the San Pedrito (Todus mexicanus) and the Pajaro Bobo Mayor (Saurothera vieillotil). There are endangered species in both forests. The most notable are the “Sapo Concho” in the Dry Forest and the “Coqui” and the Puerto Rican Parrot in the Rainforest.
Fauna Different species of Puerto Rican snails Parrot CoquiPuerto Rican Boa
Birds San Pedrito Reinita MariposeraPajaro Bobo Mayor Jui de Puerto Rico Guabairo
Enviromental problemsthat affect the Dry Forest and the Rainforest
Contamination In the Rainforest of el Yunque there is a large amount of tourism. This increase in tourism brings a large quantity of sound and waste contamination. The sound contamination is contributed by the large amount of cars and loud groups of people that go up the mountains to visit the forest. And it is these very people that contribute to the amount of waste that increases in the forest. They also throw their trash onto the floor of the forest without considering the effect on the environment, or no consideration for future visitors.
Construction The construction is a factor that has affected all major forests. In the passing of the years the population has risen, therefore the population has extended into areas were it is forbidden. An example: until recently in the Dry forest there were homes and businesses that occupied great quantities of it. Due to the protection of the forest, the homes and businesses were removed and the forest reestablished itself to its natural state in these areas. In the National Rainforest of the Caribbean (El Yunque) there are still homes or establishments that occupy the lower east side.
Global Warming Due to the natural disasters that have occurred in the resent years the axis of the Earth has tilted one degree causing for drastic changes in the environment. Due to the change places that are usually dry during summer may have precipitations and winters that are normally warm can feel cold.
Tourism Just as much as The Yunque and The Guanica Dry forest receive a lot of visiters from all around the world, which is good to the economy of the island. But in the other hand, tourism brings with itself ignorance and disrespectful attitudes like leaving the trash, taking plants from its natural environment , cars that disperse gases and at the same time the amount of contaminants that destroy both forests. It would be ideal for both Puerto Ricans as to tourists that they respect these forests and give an effort to keep them clean.
Deforestation One of the biggest problems that these two (2) forests face is deforestation. This problem affects the extension of the land, minimizing the growth. Along with the problems that affect these forests, like changes in habitats and the negative effect in the fauna just like the ones that affect the Puerto Rican parrot, can bring the deterioration of the forest.
Factories The factories that make use of large quantities of land causing deforestation, the utility of large amounts of resources (big quantitites of water), they take the infrastructure to the plants or in some cases factories can lead to the removal of trees and land to place the pipes, and they also cause sound, light, soil and water pollution in the environment.
Conclusion The ecosystem of Puerto Rico is very diverse. This 111 by 39.5 mile island includes a tropical rainforest (National Rainforest of the Caribbean) in the north- east, to the dry forest of Guánica at the south of the island. These to completely different ecosystems have very similar characteristics. After a long analysis of the communities found in these forests we have come to the conclusion that Puerto Rico is a greatly varied island with a haven for diverse research.
References Bosque seco de guánica. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ponce.inter.edu/acad/cursos/ciencia/pages /guanica.htm Ramírez, J. T. (n.d.). El bosque nacional del caribe el yunque: Fauna. Retrieved from http://cremc.ponce.inter.edu/yunque/fauna.htm (n.d.). Bosque nacional del caribe (el yunque). Ricart, C. M. (n.d.). El bosque seco subtropical.